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County drops over $200K on removal-related costs

Posted 8/22/17 (Tue)

County drops over $200K on removal-related costs

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

McKenzie County spent over $200,000 on expenditures tied to Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger’s removal proceedings.
Three quarters of that sum is derived from gross pay for Schwartzenberger and Interim Sheriff Matthew Johansen between late November and early August.
From Nov. 26, 2016 to  Aug. 5, 2017 Schwartzenberger was paid $71,067.20 in gross pay. Likewise, Johansen was paid $77,339.09.
Johansen’s interim sheriff salary was paid out of the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office’s salary budget, said Auditor/Treasurer Erica Johnsrud, who provided the salary figures.
Meanwhile, Village Business Institute’s investigation into the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office last year cost $6,970.39, paid out of the county’s general fund non-departmental contract services line, Johnsrud said.
Defense attorney Michael Geiermann and former prosecutor William John O’Driscoll both criticized VBI’s investigation as consultant John Trombley did not record his interviews with 17 McKenzie County employees and may have introduced bias in his questioning.

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